For the past two decades, Indian cricket team has been a force to reckon with in world cricket and one of the main reasons for India’s rise is their never-ending batting riches. For a long time now, India has been constantly producing batting superstars, right from Sunil Gavaskar to Virat Kohli.
A partnership between two world-class batsmen is always a sight to savour and in this article, we will look at five such memorable partnerships by an Indian pair in ODI cricket,
5. 256 by MS Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh vs England, 19 Jan 2017
The only partnership of this decade to make this elite list, MS Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh put on a vintage performance to enthrall the fans. India got off to a horror start as Chris Woakes toppled the top three of Indian batting lineup for a meagre 25 runs.
This brought the two veterans together and both of them were under pressure to perform due to their disappointing form back then. What followed was a thrilling counter-attack by two legends of modern cricket, as both of them scored centuries at a very healthy strike rate. From 25-3 in 4.4 overs, India finished with 381 runs on board, which they eventually defended to clinch the series.
4. 258 by Sourav Ganguly and Sachin Tendulkar vs Kenya, 24 Oct 2001
One of the greatest opening pairs of all time broke the record of highest ODI opening partnership of all time against Kenya at Paarl. The previous world record also belonged to the same pair as they scored 252 against Sri Lanka at Colombo in 1998.
The pair got off to a slow but steady start with the first 50 runs coming off 59 balls. But the next fifty came on just 24 deliveries as the pair accelerated swiftly. Tendulkar reached his century in 101 balls while Ganguly took 114 balls to reach a hundred. The mammoth partnership finally came to an end when Ganguly was dismissed by Odoyo in the 42nd over.
3. 275* by Mohammad Azharuddin and Ajay Jadeja vs Zimbabwe, 24 Apr 1998
A very similar partnership to the Yuvi-MSD one in this list, India found themselves in a place of disarray after Tendulkar, Ganguly and Laxman were dismissed cheaply. With the score reading 26-3, Azharuddin combined with Ajay Jadeja at the crease and steadied the ship.
Both of them scored centuries and remained unbeaten at the end of the innings after a very calculated partnership. In the process, they broke the World record for the highest partnership for any wicket in ODI’s.
2. 318 by Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly vs Sri Lanka, 26 May 1999
Then the highest partnership in the history of the World Cup, Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly put on a batting masterclass against the reigning champions. Interestingly, in a space of three days, Rahul Dravid was involved in two record partnerships at the World Cup, The first one with Sachin Tendulkar and the second one with Sourav Ganguly.
In this game, India lost Sadagopan Ramesh early but Dravid’s entry at number three stabilized the innings. This was a rare partnership in all ways as Rahul Dravid was the accelerator while Ganguly rotated the strike. Once Dravid was run out for 145, Ganguly changed his gears and reached a career-high score of 183. India ended up winning this game by a huge margin of 157 runs.
1. 331 runs by Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid vs New Zealand, 8 Nov 1999
Five months after that historic stand with Ganguly, Rahul Dravid once again made the headlines after making history with Sachin Tendulkar against New Zealand. This time Sourav Ganguly was run out early and Dravid came in at number 3 to join Tendulkar at the crease. The pair played cautiously until they reached their centuries and then exploded brilliantly.
It was a sight for the sore eyes as both of them tried to outdo each other with their range of stroke play and the fielders became mere spectators towards the later stages of the innings. Sachin Tendulkar registered the highest score by an Indian batsman while Dravid got to a personal best of 153. Sachin’s record stood for 11 years until he famously scored a double century to break his own record.